Jeff Mikulina of the Sierra Club started off his testimony on the Right to Dry bill by saying, "I can already hear the chuckles." That's the reaction that most folks have when they see the bill's title, Relating to Clotheslines. It's a serious issue, really.
Clothes dryers account for 6% of total electricity consumed by U.S. households, third behind refridgerators and lighting, according to the Wall St. Journal. The Right To Dry movement was built around the concept that people in America should have the right to dry their clothes outside on clothes lines if that is their desire, particularly since it helps our efforts for energy conservation. There are certain communities and subdivisions governed by associations, however, that prohibit the use of clotheslines, citing aesthetic reasons and decreasing property values.
HB3211, HD1, introduced by Rep. Hermina Morita, is part of the movement. It allows for the use of clotheslines on any privately owned single family residence, including townhomes. The bill was heard in the Finance Committee this evening. Rep. Sharon Har said she supported the intent of the bill, but that lawmakers need to be careful with the language since some of it could be interpreted in many different ways, e.g. the bill allows for clotheslines, "provided that rules that prohibit the placement of clotheslines shall not be unduly or unreasonably restrictive."
Testifiers agreed that a balance can be reached. Mikulina closed by quoting Benjamin Franklin, "We have to hang together, or we will hang separately."